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2016-2017 6 -8 Grade
Science Fair Packet

Checkpoint Dates
Due Date
Sept.1 Sept. 23rd
September 23rd
October 7th

Activity Description
Read through Science Fair Information Packet with a parent.
Project Proposal (Handout Below)-Pre-Planning Packet: Question, Category,
Variables, Background research
Experimental outline (Handout Below)-Project Title, Category, Question,
Hypothesis, Variables, Materials, Procedures

October 28th

Log Book Check 1 (Requirements Below)

November 11th

Log Book Check 2 (Requirements Below)

December 2nd
December 16th

Final Report (Rough Draft)


Science Fair Project Final Report and Display Board Due. Email a picture of
your display board to your teacher by December 16th.
Science Fair Judging (Bring Science Fair board and report to school on January
14th)
Science Fair Parent Night and Awards Ceremony

January 17thJanuary 20th


January 24th

Check points must be turned in on time for full participation credit. Please make changes to your project as you
get feedback from your teacher about these checkpoints. The checkpoints are designed to help you have a
quality final project.

Science Fair Checkpoint Descriptions


Planning Sheet

Ask a Question

Research

Hypothesis
with Reason
Materials

Procedures

o Used to help organize the entire experiment.


o Ask a question to begin your experiment.
o The best questions make a comparison that will allow the scientist (you) to control changes
and observe the result of those changes.
o How does _____ (independent variable) affect _____ (dependent variable)?
o Example: Which marble will travel farther down an incline, a marble with a mass of 10
grams or a mass of 30 grams?
o Research your topic and write a paper about your findings. This should be done to help you
better understand your topic and to see if this topic fit your interest.
o You must put information in your own words.
o Plagiarism is a serious offense. It is defined as use or publication of someones work with the
intent to claim it is your own work. Give credit to the authors of the research found and
paraphrase or use your own words based on the idea.
o 6th grade will be responsible for 2 pages plus a bibliography
o 7th and 8th grade will be responsible for 2-3 pages plus a bibliography
o 6th grade must have at least 3 sources
o 7th and 8th must have 5 sources
o WIKI anything is not acceptable because it can be revised at any time.
o The hypothesis is what you think will happen in your experiment.
o Your experiment is testing your hypothesis.
o The reason is why you think your hypothesis is going to occur.
o
o
o
o
o
o
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Results with
Data tables &
Graphs

o
o
o
o
o
o

A list of what you need to complete this experiment


List all necessary materials in sufficient detail
List exact quantities for items where more than one is needed
The step by step method you will use to do your experiment.
Make sure someone else can follow your procedures. They should be listed in logical order,
like a recipe
Have a description of the procedure to change the independent variable and how to measure
that change.
Have an explanation of how to measure the resulting change in the dependent variable or
variables
Have a procedure for how the controlled variables will be maintained at the constant value
Dont forget to repeat and record data for your experiment in your procedures.
A good experiment has at least 3 trials.
Record your results in a data table. Label and title your data table.
Average your data for the 3 trials.
Graph your results using your data table. Label and title your graph.
Has the appropriate graph type been selected?
Is the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent
variable on the y-axis?
Is the data plotted correctly and clearly on the graph?
Does the graph have a proper scale (the correct high and low values
on the axes)?

Conclusion

Bibliography

Display Board

Project Log
Book
Abstract

Final Report

o Answer the investigative question.


o State whether you proved or disproved your hypothesis
o Summarize and evaluate the experimental procedure, making comments about its success and
effectiveness
o Include supporting data from your data table.
o Explain how the data supports your conclusion.
o Suggest changes in the experimental procedure and/or possibilities for further study.
o Give credit to the books, Internet sites, journals, and people who helped you in your
investigation by citing resources properly in format.
o See your Science Fair Packet for examples on how to write a bibliography.
The goal of a display board is to attract and inform spectators and judges.
Display needs to reflect current years work only.
A good title that grabs spectators and judges attention.
Photographs of the experiment.
Logical organization. A judge wants to be able to find the title, experiment, results, and
conclusion
o Visual stimulation- use colorful headings, charts, graphs, etc.
Stick to the size limitations and safety rules.
o A project book is accurate and detailed notes of your experiment from beginning to end.
o These notes will help you when you write your report. Detail, detail, detail.
o I would suggest a composition book for this, but it is not required.
o
o
o
o
o

o A (maximum) 250 word, one-page abstract. This is done after research and experimentation.
o Abstract needs to include: 1) purpose of the experiment 2) procedures used, 3) data (results)
and 4) conclusions.
o You have basically already done everything for the report. Now it has to be put it together
into a report format.
o Report needs to include:
1) Title Page and Table of Contents
2) Abstract- The abstract is a brief overview of the project. It should not be more than
one page.
3) Introduction-sets the scene of your report and needs to include: your problem or
engineering goals, hypothesis, variables, an explanation of your research, and what
you hoped to achieve.
4) Background Research
5) Materials List
6) Procedure-describe in detail the procedures you used to collect all the data, make
observations, design apparatuses, etc. Your report needs to be detailed enough that
someone can repeat your experiment from the information in your paper. Include
detailed photographs or drawings of self-designed equipment.
7) Results- should flow smoothly and logically from your data.
8) Conclusion-Briefly summarize your results. Be specific, do not generalize. Never
introduce anything in the conclusion that has not already been discussed.
9) Acknowledgments-You should always credit those who assisted you, including,
businesses, and educational and research institutions.
o References/Bibliography-Your reference list should include and documentation that is not
your own (i.e. books, journal articles). See an appropriate reference in you discipline format.

Checkpoint Planning Sheet


Science Fair Project
Pre-Planning/Topic Sheet

1.

Name:
Period: _____ Due Date
Points ______/10

_______

Question (1pt): (Remember, only choose a topic that you can find library materials, equipment and
supplies for, procedures and expert advice on)
______________________________

2.

Category (1 pt): Circle One


-Behavioral/Social Sciences
-Biochemistry
-Botany (Plant Sciences)
-Cellular and Molecular Biology -Chemistry
-Computer Science
-Earth and Planetary Science
-Energy & Transportation -Physics & Astronomy
-Environmental Management
-Environmental Sciences
-Mathematical Sciences
-Medicine and Health
-Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical
-Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering

3. a)
b)
c)
d)

-Microbiology
-Zoology (Animal Sciences)

Independent Variable (2 pts):


Dependent Variable (2 pts):
______
Control Variables (2 pts): __________________________________________________
Is the experiment quantifiable/Measured in numbers (1 pt): _____________________

4. TEACHER COMMENTS: (Students: Leave this part blank! TEACHER USE ONLY)
___ topic seems too simple for your grade level; choose another topic
___ topic requires university help do you have access?
___ narrow your topic too broad/too many variables
___ unclear what you might be testing
___ topic will require special permission, supervisor, & many forms
___ you may not use plants / people / surveys / sampling / partners
___ SEE ME within 3 days you will need to re-do the Topic Sheet, but we must speak first!
*ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Experimental Outline
Science Fair Project
Experimental Outline

Name:
Period:
Due Date:
Points _______/20

I.

Project Title (1 point):

II.

Category (1 point):

III.

Question (2 points):

IV.

______________________________________________________
Attach your 2-3 pages of research to this page.

V.

VI.

__
________

____________________________________

Hypothesis (3 points): _____________________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
Variables (3 points): Write in complete sentences. Include how the variable is measured.
1. Independent:
2. Dependent:
3. Controls:

VII.

Materials (5 points):

VIII.

Experimental Procedure (5 points):

Logbook Check #1
Date Due __Per_____
Points _________/20
I. When purchasing a log book, look for:
A bound logbook, such as a Composition Book (NOT: spiral, 3-ring, loose leaf)
II. These are things you must keep in mind when doing entries and/or research:

All entries in BLUE or BLACK INK (colored pencil may ONLY be used to color-code graphs).
You MUST put the correct chronological date on each entry.
Your logbook must show that you frequently are thinking and working on science fair (min. 2x/wk.).
All your entries should be meaningful; i.e.: you should not have a page stating today I did nothing. If
you ran out of things to say on one page and went to the top of the next page, draw a diagonal on the
blank area and sign your initials across the diagonal line.
If you made an incorrect entry that is more than 1 line in length, draw a diagonal line across the
incorrect statement or information and sign your initials across the diagonal line
No printed material should be taped or stapled into the logbook (i.e.: no background from the internet
that you printed out) with the exception of: PHOTOS and computer generated GRAPHS.

III. Specific items to be included (20 points):


Number each and every page (front and back) from beginning to end of logbook IN PEN at the
bottom outside corner. Start with the very first page!
Page 1 is the Title Page. Print your project title, your name, teachers name, date you started project.
Make sure you date and record all activity that has anything to do with your project.
The next section is for your Research
After the Research section, copy your Experimental Outline.
After the experimental outline section, leave a page or two for any revisions you might need to make in
order for your experiment to work. Call this the Revisions section. It might never be needed, but you
never know.
Next up is the Data section. Setup your accepted data tables. Make sure labels and units are included.
After the data section, leave a few pages for any Acknowledgements you may which to make.
Make a neat pocket to fit all your forms and paperwork, folded in half, on the INSIDE BACK COVER.

Logbook Check #2
5 points each
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.

Date Due _______Per_____


Points _________/20

Data: All of your data should be collected by this date and present in your log book.
Pictures: Include pictures in your log book that show the progression of your project. A logical
place for your pictures in the dated entries section.
Data Analysis: Write a rough draft of your discussion after the data section of your log book. Use
the guide below.
Graphs: Complete all graphs or other analysis of your data. Refer to these in your discussion.
Conclusion

How to Write A Final Report (in CARSEF handbook it is called a research paper)
A paper describing your research should consist of the following sections, which are well-written and to the
point.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Abstract
Question, Variables, and Hypothesis
Background Research
Materials List and Procedures
Results (Data Table and Graphs) and Data Analysis
Conclusions
Acknowledgments
Bibliography/References

Final Project Check Sheet Science Fair


I. Science Fair Log Book ____/20 (Be sure to refer to the requirements from the log book
checkpoints).
II. Final Report: __ /80
___/5 Good grammar, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, flow, thoroughness,
originality
___/3 You must use some form of parenthetical referencing (i.e.: Smith, p.45) after non-original thoughts
___/2 Page 1 of your report should have the title, your name, your teachers name, grade level, date of report
___/2 Table of Contents
A. Introduction
___/5 Abstract
___/5 Question, Variables, and Hypothesis. Be sure to explain/describe your control group, experiment group,
and variables kept constant
___/15 Background Research
B. Methodology/Experimental Outline
___/5 Materials amounts and details of experimental materials
___/10 Experimental Procedure
C. Results
___/10 Data tables, graphs, and data analysis
D. Conclusion
___/10 Answer the investigative question. State whether you proved/disproved your hypothesis. Summarize
and evaluate the experimental procedure. Include supporting data. Explain how the data supports your
conclusion. Suggest changes in the experimental procedure and/or possibilities for further study.
E.___/3 Acknowledgments/Credits
F. References/Bibliography
___/5 Give credit to the books, Internet sites, journals, and people you helped you in your investigation by
citing resources properly in MLA format.

III. WARNING: Points will be deducted if your project does not include the following.
If items are taped or inserted into logbook other than: photos, receipts, and the forms that are required
for CARSEF
If English instead of the required Metric units are used
Personal notes, opinions of a non-scientific nature (I didnt enjoy this; etc.)
Student who does a project not approved on the originally-submitted Topic Sheet, student must also
resubmit a paper on the approved topic
Topic Sheet, Experimental Outline, GSEF forms 1, 1A, 1B, and any other forms that are required if you
intend on competing at CARSEF
If you did not make the improvements suggested on the check points
Turning in a project late

Rubric for Display Board


Items Required
Title
Question
Hypothesis
Materials
Procedures
Data
Results (Analyze
Data)
Conclusion
Organization
Total Points

Points possible
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

Score

10
5
50

Backboard/Display Board
Organize your board using the following illustration:
Left Panel

Center Panel

Right Panel

Problem/Question

Title

Procedures

Hypothesis

Data
Include: Pictures
Illustrations

Materials

Graphs

Results (Data Analysis)

Conclusion

Each section needs to be included on the display board in the location


designated above.

Use headings to label each section.


Use a legible font, large enough to read.
Add a colorful border to the board and/or colored paper behind the
printed information.
Make sure students name, grade, and science class period are on the
back of the display board.

Guidelines and Parental involvement


Science Fair Project Guidelines
These guidelines are designed to ensure the safety of our science fair participants and the viewing public.
Science fair project proposals will be reviewed for compliance with these guides.
1. Science fair projects many not include inhumane treatment of people or animals.
2. No living organisms except plants will be exhibited at the fair. Display of foods, mood, bacteria,
microorganisms or any other type of cultured growth is not permitted, so pictures on the display board
are required.
3. Anything that could be harmful to the public or that is prohibited on school property cannot be exhibited
at the fair. This includes harmful chemicals, caustics, acids, poisons, explosives, open flames,
combustible materials, and sharp items (knives, pins, hypothermic needles).
4. Models or photographs can be used instead of things that are restricted from display.
5. There will be space for each exhibitor to have a display board and a small amount of table space in front
of the display board. No running water or electricity will be available. If you are interested in
developing a project that involves electricity, you may choose to use batteries.
6. Projects should be developed, carried out, and exhibited by students with minimal help from parents.
Helping your children with their science fair projects
Things you may do:
1. Give encouragement, support, and guidance. (Be positive)
2. Make sure your child feels it is his or her project. Make sure the project is primarily the work of the
child.
3. Realize that the main purpose if the science fair project is to help your child use and strengthen the basic
skills he/she has learned and to develop higher level skills.
4. Realize your child will need help understanding, acquiring, and using the major science process skills.
5. Help your child design a safe project that is not hazardous in any way.
6. Provide transportation to places such as libraries, nature centers, universities, etc. that can help find
project information.
7. Help your child write letters to people who can help on the science project and be sure the letter is
mailed.
8. Help your child develop the necessary technical skills and /or help the child do the technical work such
as building the exhibit and do they photography.
9. Look over the project to check for grammar, neatness, spelling, and accuracy.

10. Buy or help find necessary material to complete the project.


11. Help your child keep a record (science fair log) of all he/she does and a list of references used.
12. Explain to your child that he/she must consult with you or the teacher when problems arise. Set aside
time for help sessions. Make them short and constructive.
13. Have your child present his/her science project to you before they take it to school
14. Be positive and supportive if your child does not win a prize at the science fair. The skills the child has
gained are worth the effort!
15. Feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when the project and the science fair is finished.

Need Help Choosing a Topic?


Helpful Ideas and Websites

What is the best way to store bread to keep it fresh the longest time?

What things can you do to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of your clothes dryer or water heater
or any device? For example, can you take actions or make changes that will decrease the length of time it
takes your dryer to get a load of towels dry?

What methods of preventing soil erosion work best? For example, what is effective at preventing erosion
in your yard?

What can you do to reduce noise pollution in a room? What factors contribute to noise pollution inside a
residence?

Can you affect vitamin C (or another measureable vitamin) levels in juice (or another food) by adding a
preservative to the juice?

What is the best thickness of insulation for preventing heat loss?

Is lightbulb lifespan affected by whether the bulb is run at full power? In other words, do dim bulbs last
longer/shorter than bulbs run at their power rating?

When comparing different brands of batteries, is the battery that lasts the longest at a high temperature
the same brand that lasts the longest at a cold temperature?

How does the concentration of chlorine in water affect the rate or percentage of seed germination?

What is the effect of watering schedules on the germination (or growth rate) of seeds from a certain
plant?

Does the bounciness of a golf ball relate to its ability to be hit a long distance?

Does the mass of a baseball bat relate to the distance the baseball travels?

Does air temperature affect how long soap bubbles last? Does relative humidity?

What type of plastic wrap prevents evaporation the best?

What plastic wrap prevents oxidation the best?

Does light effect the rates at which foods spoil?

Is a seed affected by its size? Do different size seeds have different germination rates or percentages?
Does seed size affect the growth rate or final size of a plant?

How are different soils affected by erosion? You can make your own wind or water and evaluate the
effects on soil. If you have access to a very cold freezer, you can look at the effects of freeze and thaw cycles.

How close does a plant have to be to a pesticide for it to work? What factors influence the effectiveness
of a pesticide (rain? light? wind?)? How much can you dilute a pesticide while retaining its effectiveness?
How effective are natural pest deterrents?

Which brand of rechargeable batteries delivers charge the longest before needing to be recharged? Does
the answer depend on the type of battery-operated device?

Can you tell how much biodiversity is in a water sample by how murky the water is?

Can you build your own electrochemical cell or battery? Test its output and efficiency.

Topics to Avoid
Topics to Avoid

Why

Any topic that boils down to a simple preference or


taste comparison. For example, Which tastes better:
Coke or Pepsi?
Most consumer product testing of the Which is best?
type. This includes comparisons of popcorn, bubble
gum, make-up, detergents, and paper towels.

Such experiments dont involve the kinds of numerical


measurements we want in a science fair project. They
are more of a survey.
These projects only have scientific validity if the
investigator fully understands the science behind why
the product works and applies that understanding to
the experiment.
The data tends to be unreliable.

Any topic that requires people to recall things they did


in the past.
Effect of colored light on plants.

Several people do this project at almost every science

Effect of running, music, video games, or almost


anything on blood pressure.
Effect of color on memory, emotion, mood, taste,
strength, etc.
Any topic that requires dangerous, hard to find,
expensive, or illegal materials.
Any topic that requires measurements that will be
extremely difficult to make or repeat, given your
equipment.
Graphology or handwriting analysis
Astrology or ESP

fair. You can be more creative!


The result is either obvious or difficult to measure
with proper controls.
Highly subjective and difficult to measure.
We care about your safety and your parents
pocketbook.
Without measurement, you cant do science.

Questionable scientific validity.


No scientific validity.

RESOURCES
http://www.societyforscience.org/ISEF/primer/index.asp
The Kids Guide to Science Projects: www.ipl.org/div/projectguide/
Thinking Fountain: http://www.sci.mus.mn.us/sln/tf/nav/thinkingfoutatin.html
NCES Kids Zone Graph Maker: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/
http://scienceclub.org/scifair.html
http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/scifair.php
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_finding_information.shtml - Research Paper

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/
Science Fair Central: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/
Bibliography: http://www.bibme.org/
Environmental Protection Agency (Environmental ideas/Research)
http://www.epa.gov/students/waste.htm

Questions?
6th grade: Ms. Johnson
tranice.johnson@lrsd.org
7th grade: Ms. Lunsford
zena.lunsford@lrsd.org
8th grade: Ms. Bordelon
whitney.bordelon@lrsd.org